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Men's Golf: Team struggles to shake slump

The Bobcats went into the weekend hoping for some better fortune than they’ve had in past weeks. But, that was not the case at the Boilermaker Invitational.

The team of junior Paul Grauer, sophomore Brad Lucas, freshman Connor Coldwater, sophomore Byron Firestone and senior Chuck Nettles struggled through their first two rounds shooting a 315 overall in the first and 319 in the second. They improved with a final round of 301, but it was too little too late as they finished ninth out of 10 teams.

“We had a much stronger final round, which was nice. The weather today really helped a lot,” coach Bob Cooley said.

Grauer led the way, finishing 23rd overall and individually shooting a 13-over-par 229 for the competition. Lucas shot a 16-over-par 232 on his way to finishing 31st overall, Coldwater shot a 19-over-par 235, and Firestone shot a 24-over-par 240. Nettles — who was seeing his first action of the spring — shot a 37-over-par 253. Senior Mark Reinhold also competed as unattached and shot a 24-over-par 240.

“We need to work on our short game this week, it just hasn’t been working the last few weeks,” Cooley said. “It is definitely an area that needs improvement.”

Even though there were struggles, the Bobcats finished well with four golfers shooting under 80 in the final round. Reinhold had a significantly better final round, shooting a 73.

Purdue won the tournament and Idaho finished second.

As the team prepares for the MAC Championships this week, its short game will be a big point of emphasis. Heading into next week’s tournament, Cooley said his final lineup is not set based on this week’s performances.

“We’ll be taking Grauer, Coldwater, Firestone and Lucas next weekend.” Cooley said. “The fifth spot will be up for grabs for someone to earn.”


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